Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that He may have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. (Isaiah 55:6-7)

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The New Covenant Summarized

The New Covenant in Prophecy

 

The whole notion that the New Covenant does away with the Law is contrary to the prophecies of what the New Covenant represents. Inspired scripture taught that the New Covenant revitalizes the Law (given Moses):

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jeremiah 31:31–34, ESV. See also Exodus 20:6; Deuteronomy 5:10; Ezekiel 11:19-21)

Thus, God said that when the New Covenant arrived, it would come and “inscribe the Law (Torah) on our hearts.” (Jeremiah 31:31-33.) What does inscribe the Law mean? Isaiah explained those who “know righteousness” are “the people in whose heart is my Law....” (Isaiah 51:7.)

This matches the role of Messiah prophesied in Isaiah.

Likewise, Isaiah explained Messiah would make the Law better known and practiced. When the Redeemer is sent to Israel to create a new covenant, God promises by Him “these words that I have given you” (the Law) “will be on your lips and on the lips of your children and your children’s children forever.” (Isaiah 59:21 NLT.)3

Likewise, Isaiah wrote that when His Servant (Messiah) comes, God “will magnify the Law (Torah), and make it honorable.” (Isaiah 42:21 ASV/KJV.)

Jesus proved to be worthy of being Messiah because, contrary to what many suppose, He revived full respect for the Law. In fact, Jesus, for His part, did everything possible to put the Law given Moses by God on our lips and in our hearts forever. Jesus said immediately after just referring to the “Law (given Moses) and the Prophets” (Matt. 5:17):

Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least [by those] in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matt. 5:19 KJV)

Ezekiel, who lived around the same time as Jeremiah, adds that God will give a new spirit, and the Holy Spirit will cause believers to walk in God’s statutes and obey His rules.

26 And I have given to you a new heart, And a new spirit I give in your midst, And I have turned aside the heart of stone out of your flesh, And I have given to you a heart of flesh. 27 And My Spirit I give in your midst, And I have done this, so that in My statutes ye walk, And My judgments ye keep, and have done them. (Ezekiel 36:26-27 YLT.)

The New Covenant is a new heart of flesh on which is written His Law by the Spirit. Jeremiah and Ezekiel were written about 600 years before Christ, so everyone knew what “my Law” and "My statutes" meant. It is none other than the living oracles (as Stephen called them in Acts 7:38) given at Mt. Sinai by God through Moses.

What God explains He is doing is bringing back the divided kingdoms— Judah in the South, and Israel in the north—formerly simply known as the kingdom of Israel.

God gives this explanation, first saying Israel committed adultery (Jeremiah 3:6-11). But then in the same era, God says He will take Israel “back like a wife abandoned.” (Isaiah 54:6.)

Even though God divorced “Israel” it meant in context the northern kingdom and not the kingdom of Judah. See Jeremiah 3:6-11. The nation was split in two at the time of this 'divorce' statement—Israel and Judah. God says He gave a certificate of divorce to Israel but does not say the same to Judah—the other half of the nation once known entirely as Israel. (This may be confusing but the two kingdoms of Israel were called (1) Israel in the north and (2) Judah in the south after the split and the dual kingdoms.) Hence, one part of the historic land of Israel—the region Judah—was not divorced but the other part of historical Israel known by the same name—Israel—was divorced. See Jeremiah 3:6-11. For more information, see "Kingdom of Judah," Wikipedia.

In Isaiah 54, the new covenant clearly means a re-union to an abandoned wife-Israel — a renewal of God’s covenant relationship with Israel. God in anger previously expressed His intent to abandon Israel. (See Isaiah 50:1; Hosea 2:4,9; Ezekiel 16:35-40.) However, now in the new covenant, the “Holy one of Israel...Adonai has called you back like a wife abandoned... ‘A wife married in her youth cannot be rejected,’ says your God.’” (Isaiah 54:6 CJB.) God intends to “woo her [Israel]... I will speak to her heart.” (Hosea 2:16.) “Briefly I abandoned you, but with great compassion I am taking you back.” (Isaiah 54:7 CJB.) “I am taking you back.” (Isaiah 54:8 CJB.) Just like the promise after “Noah’s flood,” God says “I swear [to Israel] that... my covenant of peace will not be removed.” (Isaiah 54:9-10.) “Instead of being told ‘You are not my people,’ it will be said to them, ‘You are the children of the living God.’” (Hosea 2:1.) “I will satisfy my fury against you, but after that...I will calm down and no longer be angry.” (Ezek. 16:42.) This is a new covenant which God promises to the nation Israel and to no other. It is a renewed covenant relationship.29

 Can The Law In The New Covenant Be Rendered Obsolete?

 

First, God say 12 times that the Law given Moses is “eternal for all generations.” Ex. 27:21; 30:21; Lev. 6:18; 7:36; 10:9; 17:7; 23:14, 21, 41; 24:3; Num. 10:8.

Generations cease when the New Heavens and Earth replace this one, and thus Jesus is in accord on when it ends.

Jesus Makes Law The Core for Salvation

Jesus told the young rich man that if you would “enter life,” obey the Ten Commandments. (Matthew 19:16-26; Mark 10:17-31; Luke 18:18-26.) Jesus recited these commands verbatim to the young man. Here is the exchange:

(16) And behold, one came to him and said, Teacher, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? (17) And he said unto him, Why askest thou me concerning that which is good? One there is who is good: but if thou wouldest enter into life, keep [Greek, tereo, obey] the commandments. (18) He saith unto him, Which? And Jesus said, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, (19) Honor thy father and mother; and, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. (20) The young man saith unto him, All these things have I observed: what lack I yet? (21) Jesus said unto him, If thou wouldest be perfect, go, sell that which thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. (22) But when the young man heard the saying, he went away sorrowful; for he was one that had great possessions. (23) And Jesus said unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, It is hard for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven. (24) And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. (Matt. 19:16-24, ASV.)

On another occasion, a lawyer asked the identical question. ‘How do I obtain eternal life?’ Jesus answered the identical way, but even more clearly. He asked the lawyer to recite what the lawyer believed is necessary for eternal life. The lawyer answered that it is key to obey the two most elevated commands in the Law given Moses: love God “with all your heart” (Deut. 6:5) and “love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev. 19:18). The lawyer correctly quoted these two laws from the Law given Moses. Jesus then said the lawyer “answered correctly” and if he did them “you shall live.” (Luke 10:25-37.) The exchange was:

(25) And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and made trial of him, saying, Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? (26) And he said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? (27) And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. (28) And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. (Luke 10:25-28 ASV.)

 

The New Covenant Is Not A New Testament

Christians have come to a misunderstanding about a New Covenant partially due to two mistakes by the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews.The error of the Hebrews writer is first calling the New Covenant a "New Testament." His second mistake is referring to the original covenant at Sinai as an "old testament."
 
First, we know we are not the beneficiaries of a new testament because Jesus clearly instead pointed to his death as a seal of a "new covenant" in His blood. See Luke 22:20  A covenant means a contract with reciprical obligations. In the earlier covenants, these mutual obligations were sealed by a mutual sacrifice of a living being. No later covenant ever abrogated the one before, but instead built upon the one that preceded it, e.g., Noah's covenant was amended in the Abrahamic Covenant, and then that was amended in the Sinai Covenant. None of the later covenants ever do away with the earlier obligations under prior covenants. They each incorporate the terms of the prior covenant.
 
Second, a testament means something totally different  than a covenant. As the writer of the epistle to the Hebrews says, testament is a unilateral promise to a beneficiary that only accrues upon death of the testator -- the one who establishes the promise to a beneficiary.
 
Such term "testament" was erroneously -- even blasphemously applied -- to the New Covenant by the Epistle writer to the Hebrews, as we shall see.
 
Nor does the term "testament" apply to either the Abrahamaic or Mosaic Covenant. The only reason this error persists and is left uncorrected is because it supports the Pauline view that we are receivers who have no obligations -- no obedience -- to receive all the benefits of heaven, as we shall see.
 
The writer of Hebrews himself explains a testament requires a testator and beneficiaries. Only if the one making the testament for the benefit of another actually dies does the testament apply for the beneficiaries of the testament. This is in Hebrews 9:16. It reads:

For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. (Heb. 9:16, KJV)

 

When we study this carefully elsewhere, this writer means that the God-of-Sinai established the promise of a new testament but it only remains alive now as long as the original testator (the God-of-Sinai) remains dead. Yahweh supposedly reflects now the "dead works" of the dead law.

 

The epistle-writer means we move on to enjoy the resurrected Jesus who represents the "living God." He goes on that the new testament only persists as long as the "death of the testator" (i.e., Yahweh) remains a fact, for the new testament would disappear if the original testator still lives. This must be the God-of-Sinai who remains dead because the writer says the new testament would disappear if the original testator still lived. To see this, let's expand the portion we quote from.

 

Here is the entire passage:

15 And for this cause he [i.e., Jesus] is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

16For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.

17For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. (Hebrews 9:15-17.)

 

So here Jesus is the "mediator of the new testament." The Greek word rendered as testament is diatheke, meaning will or last will and testament. (See "Diatheke: Testament or Covenant?"). The fruits from it "prevailed" / was ushered in by the "death of the testator." The "testament" that now lives is the new testament, but it only has "force after men are dead." This necessarily implies that if the testator who died is indeed the same who now lives, the "new testament" would disappear and the old revive. The new testament would have "no strength at all while the testator liveth."

 

Thus, Jesus cannot be the testator, for his resurrection to life would have restored the status quo prior to his death. No benefits would have yet flowed. But the writer of Hebrews affirms that we enjoy a New Testament, and its benefits is that the dead works of the Law need no longer be followed. This must means that the death of Jesus represented the death of the Father-God, who does not revive, and thus His law disappears. This allows Jesus to take his place as a new "Living God" when Jesus resurrects.

 

This view of the New Testament is in accord with Paul who clearly says this in more striking terms in Romans 7. Paul clearly says instead of Israel remarrying God-Yahweh who forgives their prior rejection of them, and promised a new covenant to put His law in their hearts, as Jeremiah 31 says, Paul says their "husband" has now died with whom they were bound by "law" to belong to. Yet, now because the "husband died," they - in context the Jews -- are now "free to marry another" -- Jesus. And hence Jesus takes the place of Yahweh as their husband -- implicitly meaning that Yahweh is dead, and Jesus is the "living God." For more on Paul's teaching in Romans 8, see

Paul Says The God of Sinai is Dead. See also The Duality of God the Father and the Son in Paul's Epistles.