“for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.” Matthew 26-28
As you all know, I have been learning from Jansen Bagwell about Kingdom. He has now taught us a little bit about Covenant and Covenant Principles. I really hope Jansen writes a book because this is about how to live the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. It is so much more than “self-help,” this is how to walk in God’s Grace. Because we can recognize that Satan, and not people, is our true enemy, it helps us to forgive. Forgiveness brings healing. Healing and forgiveness restore our covenant with God. Below I will outline Covenant as Jansen taught us, followed by the most important part, which are the Covenant Principles. Living by these Principles, I believe, will help you have happy, healthy relationships. The goal for you is to keep your part of the Covenant with God. Please know, I am not a covenant expert. Covenant can take many scholars and years to totally study. This is my rudimentary understanding of the notes I took while learning from Jansen.
Covenant is law in God’s Kingdom– everyone must adhere (it is more than a contract)
Steps of Covenant;
1.Counting the Cost of Covenant
-this is like engagement. We are weighing out the commitment. It can be likened to going through RCIA. We are deciding if this is an agreement we want to enter into.
2.Exchange of outer garments.
– Once we have decided to enter covenant, we exchange outer garments with the other person. We put on their clothes, they put on ours, as a sign of the covenant. This shows an exchange of identity.
– When in covenant with Christ we take our identity and give it to Him in order to receive Him (be clothed with Him).
Scripture references: Philippians 2:5-8; Samuel 18:1-4; Romans 10:9
3.Exchange of Belts
-Belts represent victory and strength. Think of a boxer winning the title belt. When we are in covenant with God we get the better end of the deal because we only receive strength.
Scripture references: Samuel 18
4.Exchange of Weapons
-The exchange of weapons is also the exchange of enemies. Our natural enemy is other human beings. The covenant enemy is Satan. We exchange enemies when we enter covenant with God. He takes on our human enemy so we no longer have to worry about them, and we realize we are fighting powers and principalities. When we forgive our natural enemy the Holy Spirit can step in and convict him of his own evil. The weapons we fight with are not worldly weapons. The Holy Spirit can tear down strongholds and fortifications of the enemy. Strongholds come from fiery darts of suggestion. We must identify the lie, but instead many times we reinforce the lie. God has given us a charism to fight the new enemy.
–Demons are trying to condition us how to think. When we are in covenant with God, we must use our charisms to identify the lies of the enemy and not be trained to think by the enemy but by God. This means praying and listening to the still small voice.
Scripture references: Romans 12:12, 2 Corinthians:3
5. Walk of Death
-The two groups in covenant would cut an animal in two and walk in between it. This cutting the animal in two symbolizes infinity.
-As they walked in between the animal they would speak incredible blessings on one another.
-They also spoke of violation of covenant and would speak incredible curses, should the covenant be violated. These curses were the opposite of the blessings.
-We actually see covenant enacted in a lot of mafia pacts, and gang pacts.
-You cannot have covenant without the shedding of blood.
-Jesus is the miraculous answer. His blood shed, so we no longer have to.
-He is the covenant – He restores us to covenant with God. Now through baptism.
-We see the first shedding of blood after the fall. God kills an animal to clothe Adam and Eve. Prior to this they would not have seen blood shed. After the fall they clothe in leaves, which are passing and fleeting. The shedding of the blood of the animal clothes them in something lasting.
Scripture References: Genesis 3:21, Jeremiah 34:17-20, Genesis 15:9-19, Deuturonomy 11:26-29, Joshua 8:33-35
6.The Covenant Mark
-Those entering into covenant would cut their wrist. This would leave a scar or a brand on the wrist marking the covenant. (This is why we shake hands, it was a way to see the mark of who you were in covenant with).
-The cut on the wrist would bleed and they would drain their blood into a single chalice.
-Jesus is the final cutting, marked on his wrists, and feet, on the cross.
-We get marked now at Baptism and Confirmation with the covenant mark.
Scripture references: Ephesians 1:13, Ephesians 4:30, Isaiah 65:2, Genesis 4:15, Isaiah 44:5
-This was a private meal for only the two leaders by themselves. It was pre-prepared. The cup of their own blood from the covenant mark was drank from. Because Jews could not drink blood, they drank wine.
-They would drink it and break bread and say, May my body be torn in two before I violate this covenant. This is why for us, we should not receive Eucharist if we have mortal sin on our soul. Mortal sin is a violation of covenant. Even though we are still marked in Covenant by Baptism, the mortal sin is a violation of it. Reconciliation restores you to covenant.
-Jesus took them into covenant at the last supper.
-Deliverance is restoring the covenant that has been violated.
-We partake in this covenant of Christ at the Eucharist.
These Principles aren’t law but they help keep you having healthy relationships with others and help to keep you in Covenant with God.
When you are in covenant with God, you are also in covenant with His people.
You must remember that people are not your enemy, Satan is.
When we walk in Covenant relationship we value people because God Values people.
These principles are particularly valuable in marriage.
In deliverance ministry the goal is to try to get people back in covenant with God.
1. The First Word Principle
Scriptures: Malachi 3:16 and Matthew 18:15
Commitment: You will be the first person to hear about any problem I have with you.
Question: Have I gone to this person with my problem?
(This helps stop gossip)
2. The Four Day Principle
Scriptures: Proverbs 28:14, John 11:39, James 3:17-18
Commitment: I will not allow any problem I have with you to go unresolved for more than four days. If, within that length of time, I have not come to peace about the issue, I will communicate with you.
Question: How long have you been troubled about the problem?
(giving several days can help you access if you really do have an issue, sometimes we realize the other person may be right, but it should not extend beyond 4 days because of anger that can fester which can lead to violation of covenant.)
3. The Final Word Principle
Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 13:6-7, Ephesians 4:15-16
Commitment: I will believe and act upon the last words we spoke concerning our relationship and live as if you will do the same. If anything changes on my part I will tell you.
Question: Did you forget or disregard what we last spoke to one another concerning our relationship?
(Do what you say you’re going to do. This is particularly good for spouses.)
4. The Faithfulness Principle
Scriptures: Acts 9:26-28
Barnabas told the Apostles of Paul’s testimony, to break down any offenses the Apostles may have toward Paul
Commitment: Faithfulness to our relationship outweighs the importance of any offense between us. I will not allow any problem to override the principles by which we live.
5. The Burden-Carrying Principle
Scriptures: Galatians 6:1-2
To fulfill the law of Christ we must help carry each others burdens.
Commitment: I will commit to help you in every possible way in carrying your burdens.
6. The Corporate Struggle Principle
Scriptures: Romans 12:4-8
Paul to the Romans, shared that their struggle is a corporate struggle but the gifts of God are to build up the Body of Christ again.
Commitment: Your enemy is my enemy…and I will help defend you against every attack or assault, by using my Spiritual Gifts.
(this is a good ministry principle, for example, we will feed the poor. )
7. The Friendship Principle
Scriptures: 1 Samuel 20:41-42
Jonathan tells David that they have made a covenant with each other out of friendship.
Commitment: I will be honest and not expect you to interpret my actions or my motives. It is my responsibility to approach you if I need help.
I truly believe if we all lived this way, and abide by the Covenant Principles we would be much much happier. The vitriol we see in social media and out in the streets would cease to exist. We would know that people are not our enemies, Satan is. We would direct ourselves to not listen to Satan’s fiery darts of suggestion. My hope is that by publishing what Jansen taught this will help those of you out there bring the Kingdom of God to earth.