The first major covenant God made with man was His promise to Adam that “the seed of the woman will bruise the serpent on the head” (Gen. 3:15); this promise was fulfilled in the Lord Jesus as the individual seed of the woman, and it is being fulfilled today in the overcomers in the churches who are being produced to be the man-child who execute God’s judgement upon Satan.
Even though man fell, God came to preach the gospel to him and enter into a covenant with Him. What a God we have!
The second major covenant is God’s covenant with Noah. In Noah’s time the earth was filled with violence, the flesh was corrupted to the uttermost, and all the thoughts and intentions of man’s heart were evil continually. But Noah found grace in the eyes of Jehovah, and he worked together with God to build his own salvation; according to God’s instructions, Noah built an ark, and God saved Noah, his family, and a pair of animals from each species.
After God destroyed the earth through the flood, He made a covenant with Noah that He will never again destroy the earth with water, and as a sign of the covenant He made with Noah, God “set His bow in the clouds” – the rainbow.
Don’t you love God? He was upset when seeing that all men had become flesh, completely rebellious against God, and so God destroyed the earth with water – but then God promised that never again will He do this, but rather He makes a covenant with His people!
God’s Covenant with Noah and the Rainbow – its Significance and Implication for us
The rainbow mentioned in Gen. 9 is also mentioned in Ezek. 1:26-28 and in Rev. in the New Jerusalem. The rainbow around God’s throne signifies that God is the covenanting God, the faithful God; God will keep His covenant while executing His judgement upon the earth (Rev. 4:3; Ezek. 1:26-28).
The three primary colors of the rainbow are blue, red, and yellow; blue is the color of the sapphire throne and signifies God’s righteousness (Ezek. 1:26; Psa. 89:14), red is the color of the sanctifying fire and signifies God’s holiness (Ezek. 1:4, 13, 27; Heb. 12:29), and yellow is the color of the glowing electrum and signifies God’s glory (Ezek. 1:4, 27; Heb. 1:3).
When man fell and was cast away from the garden of Eden, God put a cherubim with a flaming sword to guard the way to the tree of life; God’s righteousness (typified by the sword), God’s holiness (typified by the flames), and God’s glory (typified by the cherubim) excludes the sinful man from partaking of the tree of life so that sinful man would not eat the tree and live forever with his sinful nature.
But Christ Himself came and died on the cross to satisfy the requirements of God’s righteousness, holiness, and glory, and He was resurrected by God to be our righteousness, holiness, and glory (Gen. 3:24; 1 Cor. 1:30).
Now in resurrection we can eat Christ as the tree of life, and we will enjoy the attributes of God’s righteousness, holiness, and glory being dispensed into us. The very attributes of God which once excluded us from partaking of the tree of life now have become our enjoyment and experience!
God gave Christ as the covenant to His people, and He is typified by the rainbow of righteousness, holiness, and glory (Isa. 42:6; Heb. 8:10-12). Christ is wisdom to us from God, transmitting Himself into us as righteousness (that we may be reborn in our spirit with the divine life), sanctification (that we might be transformed in our soul), and redemption (that we may be transfigured in our body) – see 1 Cor. 1:30, Rom. 8:10, 12:2, 8:23; Eph. 5:25-27. Hallelujah!
And for eternity in and as the New Jerusalem – a city whose foundations have the appearance of a rainbow (Rev. 21:19-20), we will be a rainbow to testify of God’s faithfulness to carry out His new covenant in making us exactly the same as He is as righteousness, holiness, and glory! Hallelujah!
Our God is faithful, and He has entered into a covenant with us, His people, that He will never destroy the earth by water but rather, He will work Christ into us until we become God’s righteousness, holiness, and glory!
Today in the church life we have the spiritual reality of this rainbow by allowing God to fill us with His presence of righteousness by giving Him the full opportunity to work in us as the fire of holiness (to sanctify us) for His splendor of glory through us (1 Cor. 1:30). Wow, what a rich implication and significance of God’s covenant with Noah with the rainbow!
Lord Jesus, thank You for dying to fulfill all the requirements of God’s righteousness, holiness, and glory! Now You are transmitting Yourself into us as our righteousness to be regenerated with God’s life, sanctification to be transformed in our soul, and redemption to be transfigured in our body. Lord, we allow You to fill us with Your presence of righteousness by giving You the full opportunity to work in us as the fire of holiness for Your splendor of glory through us! Praise You Lord for Your covenant with Noah (with us) with the rainbow!
Living under God’s Faithfulness and Enjoying His Promises as His Covenanted People
The rainbow is a sign of God’s faithfulness in keeping His covenant that there will be NO MORE judgement of death; today we need to live under God’s faithfulness and enjoy all His promises as God’s covenanted people. We must live under the new covenant and NOT believe in any failure, weakness, darkness, or negative thing.
Our Christian life and church life are absolutely a covenant life; we stand not on our feelings, experiences, situations, or knowledge but on God’s word, His promises. We shouldn’t be frightened or discouraged by the clouds of our convictions, feelings, and environments; we are under God’s covenant, no longer under God’s condemnation, and we need to enjoy His blessings!
In the church life we enjoy the divine life; there’s no more dark or negative thing but Christ is our everything for us to enjoy! We must stand under God’s covenant and not believe our failures, weaknesses, darkness, or any negative thing; our position is under the blood-sprinkled covenant, and we are God’s covenanted people! As covenanted people, we have a verse of promise to meet every situation.
The Bible is filled with God’s promises for His people, and we can enjoy them and stand on them no matter where we are.
If we feel we’re tempted and can’t overcome the temptation, we need to remember that no temptation has taken us except that which is common to man, and God is faithful – He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able, but rather, with the temptation, He will also make a way out so that we may endure it (1 Cor. 10:13).
When we feel like we are about to be consumed, we need to remember that it is Jehovah’s loving kindness that we are not consumed, for His compassions do not fail – they are new every morning (Lam. 3:22-23).
If we feel condemned, we need to pray over Rom. 8:2 which clearly says that there’s now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, but rather they enjoy the law of the Spirit of life operating in them to fill them with the divine life and release them from sin!
If we feel weak, God’s word for us is that His grace is sufficient for us, for His power is perfected in our weakness; therefore we can even boast in our weaknesses (2 Cor. 12:9). If we feel bothered by death, we should believe God’s word which says that Christ nullified death and has brought light and incorruption (2 Tim. 1:10).
If we feel weak and powerless, we need to be empowered by the grace which is Christ Jesus; when we enjoy God in Christ as the Spirit, we are empowered in the Lord (2 Tim. 2:1). When we stumble, we need to remember that the Lord is able to guard us from stumbling and to set us before His glory (Jude 24).
If we sin, we need to remember that we can confess our sins, and He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Hallelujah, God is faithful: He has called us into the fellowship of His Son – He called us into the full enjoyment and participation in Christ (1 Cor. 1:9)!
Furthermore, all the New Testament realities of Christ typified in the life and work of Noah have been covenanted to us; today in this dark and violent age, we can find grace in the eyes of God, we can be saved in the church life, we can work our salvation, and we can be God’s household of faith – His covenanted people (see Gen. 6:8, 13-18; 8:4, 18; John 10:28-29; 1 Pet. 3:20-21; Rom. 6:3-4).
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your promises in the word of God; we refuse to believe any darkness or weakness and we choose to stand on Your word, claiming Your promises, and living under Your covenant. Lord, we are Your covenanted people, and we have a verse of promise in the Bible that will meet every situation! May our living today be under the new covenant, and may we look away from any weakness, darkness, failure, and negative thing to Jesus Christ, the One who is everything to us in God’s covenant!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my Christian experience, brother Ed Marks’ sharing in the message for this week, and Life-study of Genesis, msg. 32 (by Witness Lee), as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Crystallization-Study of Exodus (2), week 6 / msg 6, The Covenanting God and His Covenants (1) – Major Covenants That God Made with Man.
- All Bible verses are taken from, Holy Bible Recovery Version.
- Hymns on this topic to strengthen this burden:
# The rainbow round about Thy throne / Thy faithfulness declares; / This attribute forevermore / The holy city bears. (Hymns #18)
# Thou hast laid our sins on Jesus, / By Thy justice He was killed; / All Thy holy law’s requirements / For Thy justice He fulfilled. / Recompense from Him receiving, / Thou art fully satisfied; / How couldst Thou, O God most righteous, / Claim it once more from our side? (Hymns #20)
# Standing on the promises that cannot fail, / When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail, / By the living Word of God I shall prevail, / Standing on the promises of God. / Standing on the promises I now can see / Perfect, present cleansing in the blood for me; / Standing in the liberty where Christ makes free, / Standing on the promises of God. (Hymns #340)