This abbreviated look at the Divine Covenants is designed to arouse a working interest in those seeking a better understanding of the eternal Purpose of God in His dealings with mankind. Let this author be the first to admit the incompleteness of his work; it merely points up the basic outline identifying the movement of Divine Providence toward a certain, ultimate fulfilling of the Divine Purpose. So grand and glorious is this Divine Program, progressively revealed in the covenants, that the author would have all the saints enlightened in understanding and disciplined to a patient, but expectant, waiting "for the blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; Who gave Himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good work," (Titus 2:13-14).
For the sake of brevity, and the convenience of such as desire to seriously pursue this study, the informal outline has been adopted as the most expeditious means of communication. Little attention has been given to mechanical perfection and artistic design in presentation - the author's chief design being to communicate a divine message in such a way as might best glorify the great God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Nor may this author stake out any claim to originality for this series of studies. He was born naked and mentally blank; any progress made since that time must be credited to another- and one cannot boast of what he has received. Of the many sources of influence and enlightenment contributing to the development of these lessons, some are more recognizable than others. It would be impossible to recall every one.
1. The Covenants were first indelibly impressed on the author's mind while studying as a student (1948-52) at the Missionary Baptist Seminary operated by the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Little Rock, Arkansas.
2. Some years later that interest was enlarged by the privilege of hearing Pastor Edward Byrd (then of Rochelle, Illinois) teach a series of lessons on the Covenants.
3. Among the books that have been a special blessing are: The Theocratic Kingdom,
by Geo. N. H. Peters, (Kregel); God's Covenants and Our Time,
by Guy Duty, (Bethany Fellowship, Inc.); The King of the Earth,
by Eric Sauer, (Eerdmans); and The Kingdom of God,
by John Bright, (Abingdon). Great care has been taken not to infringe on the rights of others, or to enlarge the outline by direct quotations from their materials. Their influence on the work as a whole, however, is one that is gratefully acknowledged.
A special word of appreciation must record the labors of Bro. Clay Thompson (a member of Landmark Church) without whose encouragement and typography these lessons would probably have never been produced in the present form. Should someone be blessed by these studies it would be most appropriate that he pause and thank God for the part each of these played in making this work a reality -- and, to God be the glory!
Prepared for the instruction of Landmark Missionary Baptist Church" of Rockford, Illinois, these lessons have been used, with profit and blessing, by several other churches. They are now submitted to the reader with a sincere prayer that they may assist in clarifying, for all saints, the unfailing purpose of the covenant-God, and encouraging many to run the Christian race with patience. The divine Son of Man shall yet reign in Mt. Zion. From David's re-established throne, He shall exercise universal dominion; "all people, nations and languages" shall serve Him with gladness.
Eugene L. Garner