Introduction                          
Contents

"[He took] the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you"
(Luke 22:20, AV).

The Bible has been divided into two parts, the "Old Testament" and the "New Testament". The books of the Old Testament encompass Genesis to Malachi, while the books of the New Testament encompass Matthew to Revelation. The Old Testament books were written before Christ's first coming and the New Testament after.

"Blood has nothing to do with a "will" or "testament". But it has with a covenant" (E.W. Bullinger, Companion Bible, p.1500, note on Luke 22:20).

"... after the supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you" (Luke 22:20, NIV).

Using the above construct the Bible divisions should be referred to as the "Old Covenant" and the "New Covenant".

But these designations are misleading.

The books from Genesis to Malachi would be better referred to as the "Kingdom Covenant" and the books from Matthew to Revelation referred to as the "Church Covenant".

The "Kingdom Covenant" - the books from Genesis to Malachi - encompass both the Old and Renewed Covenant with 'Israel the Kingdom'. The "Church Covenant" - the books from Matthew to Revelation - encompasses the Covenant with 'Israel the Church'.

While the Covenant with 'Israel the Kingdom' has not yet been renewed there is a wealth of information in the "Kingdom Covenant" - the books from Genesis to Malachi - on the renewed Covenant that it is better to refer to these books not as the "Old Testament" or "Old Covenant" but as the "Old and New Covenant with Israel the Kingdom" or, for short, the "Kingdom Covenant".

In the above we have referred to "Israel the Kingdom" and "Israel the Church". The symbol for a kingdom and a church is a woman. This implies that there is some sort of "theological connection" between a Kingdom and a Church and therefore between the Kingdom Covenant and the Church Covenant. As a 'woman' is a symbol for both Kingdom and Church, and that there is a "theological connection" between them, it follows that both Kingdom and Church may share the same title.

With this in mind we will now begin to look at "The New Covenant - The Sarah and Keturah Administrations".

THE LONGEST OT PASSAGE QUOTED IN THE NT

"For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.

"For finding fault with them, he saith.

"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:

"Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.

"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: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people...

"In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away" (Hebrews 8:7-13, AV).

Moses was the mediator of the Old Covenant:

"... not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood. For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, saying "This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you" (Hebrews 9:18-20, NKJV).

while Jesus Christ, the second Moses (Heb 3:1-6), was "the mediator of the new covenant" (Hebrews 12:24, NKJV):

"In the same manner he also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me"" (1Corinthians 11:25, NKJV).

PROBLEM

"For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes" (Romans 11:25-27).

God is going to make a "New Covenant" with the "house of Israel". But has not Jesus Christ already established the New Covenant? Are there two New Covenants? If this is so, is there any connection between the two New Covenants?

TWO ADMINISTRATIONS

To begin to answer these questions we will look at another of Paul's teachings:

"... ye are not under the law, but under grace" (Romans 6:14, AV).

"Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?" (Galatians 4:21, AV).

Those under the administration of the Old Covenant maybe referred to those "under the law" while those of the New referred to those "under grace".

The Jews of Galatia found the transition to the new administration difficult. So Paul used an "analogy" to help them understand the new reality.

TWO WOMEN - TWO COVENANTS

"For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman [Hagar] and the other by the free woman [Sarah]... These things may be taken figuratively, for the women represent two covenants" (Galatians 4:22, 24, NIV).

We learn from this 'allegory' that the mothers of Abraham's sons represent two covenants. But before looking at the section from which the above scriptures are taken, there is another consideration.

ANOTHER WOMAN - ANOTHER COVENANT?

But it is also written that Abraham had six other sons by another woman, named Keturah:

"Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah. And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah... All these were the children of Keturah. And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac. But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country" (Genesis 25:1-6).

THE MYSTERY OF KETURAH

"Origen, having argued that some mystery must be hid under this union of Abraham with Keturah - first, from the fact, that he who was "as good as dead" in his hundredth year, now at a hundred and thirty-seven begets many sons; secondly, from the analogy of the other two wives, both of whom, according to St. Paul, where certain principles..." (Andrew Jukes, Types in Genesis, p.280).

Andrew Jukes also noted that:

"Keturah cannot be known, for she only comes when Sarah as an outward form has passed away. But if this is done, then Keturah will come in thousands who are faithful by her spirit.

"... Keturah [comes] ... when the truth which Sarah represents has passed from an outward form into a higher state...

"Keturah ... is, as her name imports, "a savour of a sweet smell"..." (Types in Genesis, pp.279-80).

If the "slave woman" and the "free woman", mothers of two sons of Abraham, represent two covenants then it would follow that Keturah, the mother of six of Abraham's sons, would also represent a covenant.

THE ARGUMENT

It is the premise of this booklet that Keturah does represent a covenant and that the Keturah Covenant comes when the Sarah Covenant has passed "into a higher state".

While the Keturah Covenant follows the Sarah Covenant, these two distinct covenants are two dispensations of the One Covenant. Hence the title of this booklet: "The New Covenant - The Sarah and Keturah Administrations". As we will see the two dispensations of the New Covenant follow the pattern of the two administrations of the Old Covenant - the "tabernacle" and "temple" administrations.

This is in keeping with a Biblical principle. This concept is explained in the article "The House(s) of Israel - An Introduction to the Set-Subset Concept of the Bible". While there is "one" kingdom of Israel that one kingdom is made up of two "subset" kingdoms. These two "subset" kingdoms also picture the two dispensations of both the Old and New Covenants.

PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL ISRAEL

"For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.

"Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar [Hagar]. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the free woman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free" (Galatians 4:22-31, AV).

Just as Ishmael, the son of the bondwoman, persecuted Isaac, the son of the freewoman, now those under the Old Covenant - "Jerusalem which now is" - persecuted those under the New Covenant - "Jerusalem which is above is free".

Note the synonymous parallelism:

"But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was [born] by promise" (v.23).

"But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now" (v.29).

ISRAEL - NATION AND CHURCH

"Behold Israel after the flesh..." (1 Corinthians 10:18, AV).

"For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God" (Galatians 6:15-16, AV).

"Israel after the flesh - the literal, as distinguished from the spiritual Israel (Ro 2:29; 4:1; 9:3; Ga 4:29)" (A.R. Fausset, 1 Corinthians - Revelation, Vol.3, Pt.3, p.312).

Israel "born after the Spirit" maybe said to be "spiritual" Israel while Israel "born after the flesh" maybe said to be "physical" Israel.

"For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit" (1 Corinthians 12:12-13, AV).

In the Church, the Israel of God, there are Jews, who were formerly Israelites after the flesh. This implies that those of "Israel after the flesh" that come under the New Covenant are now "spiritual" Israelites. After the inauguration of the "New Covenant" with the House of Israel, "Israel after the flesh" will also be "spiritual" Israelites.

"As Sarah stands for "the mother of us all," i.e. of those who, by grace, are one with the true Son of promise, of whom Isaac was the type John 3:6-8; Galatians 4:26,28,29; Hebrews 2:11-13 and joint heirs of His wealth; Hebrews 1:2; Romans 8:16,17, so Keturah (wedded after the full blessing of Isaac) and her children by Abraham may well stand for the fertility of Israel the natural seed, Jehovah's wife Hosea 2:1-23 after the future national restoration under the Palestinian covenant" (C. I. Scofield, "Scofield Reference Notes", notes on Genesis 25).

It was argued early that the books of the Bible - Genesis to Malachi - should really be designated the Old and New Covenant with Israel the Kingdom and the books - Matthew to Revelation - designated the Covenant with Israel the Church.

Therefore, expanding Paul's allegory, Hagar pictures Israel the nation under the 'old covenant' while Keturah pictures Israel the nation under the 'new covenant'; with Sarah picturing the covenant with Israel the church.

While having argued for different designations for the division of the Bible, the "Old" and "New" Testament designations will be retained to save confusion.

"Physical" Levites

Within the Old and Renewed Covenant with Israel there was and is a covenant with the Levites.

"... the LORD set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister and to pronounce blessings in his name, as they still do today. That is why the Levites have no share or inheritance among their brothers; the LORD is their inheritance, as the LORD your God told them" (Deuteronomy 10:8-9, NIV).

The Levites are set apart by God, from the other twelve tribes.

"Spiritual" Levites

"The Tabernacle seems to be the type of Christ and His Church now; the Temple, of Christ and His Church in resurrection glory..." (Ada R. Habershon, Study of the Types, pp.54).

Just as there is a "theological" connection between a Kingdom and Church, there is a "theological" connection between the Levites and the Church.

Israel the Church under the New Covenant is also set part, by God, from Israel the Kingdom under the New Covenant.

THREE JERUSALEMS - THREE ADMINISTRATIONS

"...Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother" (Galatians 4:25, NIV).

Hagar corresponds with Jerusalem of the Old Covenant and Sarah with Jerusalem of the New Covenant. It follows then that Keturah may correspond with a Jerusalem.

"Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the LORD, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the LORD: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it ; neither shall that be done any more. At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart. In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers" (Jeremiah 3:14-18, AV).

It would then follow that Keturah corresponds with the Jerusalem of the 'renewed' covenant with Israel the Kingdom. If so Keturah therefore corresponds to a covenant.

"Keturah" Jerusalem will co-exist, for a while, with "Sarah" Jerusalem.

"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away... And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven..." (Revelation 21:1-2, AV).

"Jerusalem . . . out of heaven - (Ga 4:26; Heb 11:10; 12:22; 13:14; [Rev] 3:12). The descent of the new Jerusalem out of heaven is plainly distinct from the earthly Jerusalem in which Israel in the flesh shall dwell during the millennium, and follows on the creation of the new heaven and earth. John in his Gospel always writes [Greek] Hierosoluma of the old city; in the Apocalypse always Hierousaleem of the heavenly city (Re 3:12). Hierousaleem is Hebrew, the original and holy appellation. Hierosoluma is the common Greek, in a political sense. Paul observes the same distinction when refuting Judaism (Ga 4:26; compare 1:17, 18; 2:1; Heb 12:22), though not so in the Epistles to Romans and Corinthians [Bengel]" (A.R. Fausett, 1 Corinthians - Revelation, JFB, Vol.3, Pt.3, p.725).

"This shows clearly that the wonders and glories revealed here belong to post-millennial times and ages. Therefore, the city of the great King during the thousand years ... will have "passed away". There cannot be two Jerusalems on the earth at one and the same time. The new Jerusalem comes down on the new earth, thus taking the place of the former city" (E. W. Bullinger, Companion Bible, p.1913).

"And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God" (Revelation 21:3, AV).

By means of the Hagar, Keturah and Sarah Covenants God is working towards his goal: to establish a people, dwell with them, and be their God.

The Hagar Old Covenant is crucial to understanding how the New Covenant unfolds and realises it goal. Perhaps the title of this booklet should be "The Covenants - The Hagar, Sarah and Keturah Administrations".

The Structure of the Covenant Dispensations

The Old Covenant may be divided into two main stages - the 'tabernacle' and 'temple' administrations. The first of these administrations may also be divided into two stages. These stages are consecutive.

Therefore under the Old Covenant there are three consecutive stages - two 'tabernacle' and one 'temple' administrations.

  Hagar Old Covenant
-
 The Tabernacle/Levi Dispensation
-
 The Tabernacle/Joseph Dispensation
-
 The Temple/Judah Dispensation

The New Covenant is also divided up into two main stages - the 'tabernacle' and 'temple' administrations. The second of these administrations may also be divided into two stages. The difference in the New Covenant is that the first stage is followed by two contemporary stages.

Therefore under the New Covenant there are three stages - one 'tabernacle' followed by two contemporary 'temple' administrations.

Dispensations
Sarah New Covenant
-
Tabernacle
-
Temple
Temple
-
Keturah New Covenant

 
Contents:
Hagar Old Covenant
Keturah New Covenant
Sarah New Covenant

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