Chapter 28: The New Covenant

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The New Covenant will be granted to a nation whose Old Covenant, The Law, had served to illuminate their need for a perfect and final sacrifice for sin. The New Covenant, a gift made possible only by the shed blood of the sinless Lamb of God, once and forever becomes the strength of Israel, as it has been the strength of all believers to this date. Jewish believers and Gentile believers become as one the moment they believe in and serve their risen Savior. Listen to this wonderful prophecy and promise.

Jeremiah 31:31-34 (NKJ)

31 “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah–
32 “not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the LORD.
33 “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
34 “No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

Those Jews who participate in the Millennium will have received a new heart, not one of stone, but one of flesh. The law will no longer judge Israel. Listen to the prophet Ezekiel.

Ezekiel 36:23-28 (NKJ)

23 “And I will sanctify My great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the LORD,” says the Lord GOD, “when I am hallowed in you before their eyes.
24 “For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land.
25 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.
26 “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
27 “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.
28 “Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God.

Notice that the heart of stone will be removed. To be removed, it must have been present. This is the heart that needs healing, now or then, but it needs healing. As it says, “after those days” there will be a New Covenant. Listen to the words of the New Covenant again. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. After what days? Listen to this wonderful prophecy.

Jeremiah 31:1-14 (NKJ)

1 “At the same time,” says the LORD, “I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be My people.”
2 Thus says the LORD: “The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness– Israel, when I went to give him rest.”
3 The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
4 Again I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt, O virgin of Israel! You shall again be adorned with your tambourines, and shall go forth in the dances of those who rejoice.
5 You shall yet plant vines on the mountains of Samaria; the planters shall plant and eat them as ordinary food.
6 For there shall be a day when the watchmen will cry on Mount Ephraim, ‘Arise, and let us go up to Zion, to the LORD our God.’ ”
7 For thus says the LORD: “Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations; proclaim, give praise, and say, ‘O LORD, save Your people, the remnant of Israel!’
8 Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the ends of the earth, among them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and the one who labors with child, together; a great throng shall return there.
9 They shall come with weeping, and with supplications I will lead them. I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters, in a straight way in which they shall not stumble; for I am a Father to Israel, and Ephraim is My firstborn.
10 “Hear the word of the LORD, O nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him as a shepherd does his flock.’
11 For the LORD has redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of one stronger than he.
12 Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, streaming to the goodness of the LORD– for wheat and new wine and oil, for the young of the flock and the herd; their souls shall be like a well-watered garden, and they shall sorrow no more at all.
13 “Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old, together; for I will turn their mourning to joy, will comfort them, and make them rejoice rather than sorrow.
14 I will satiate the soul of the priests with abundance, and My people shall be satisfied with My goodness, says the LORD.”

Notice verse 7. It declares these promises are to the “remnant of Israel.” Are you part of the remnant? The writer of Hebrews teaches, some 600 years after Jeremiah’s prophecy, about the New Covenant. This is a long quotation, out of context, but assuming the reader does not have a Bible at hand, here it is. Again, reading the entire Word, in context, is a far richer experience.

Hebrews 8:8-13 (NKJ)

8…”Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah–
9 “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 did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the Lord.
10 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
11 “None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.
12 “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
13 In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Hebrews 9:1-28 (NKJ)

1 Then indeed, even the first covenant had ordinances of divine service and the earthly sanctuary.
2 For a tabernacle was prepared: the first part, in which was the lampstand, the table, and the showbread, which is called the sanctuary;
3 and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All,
4 which had the golden censer and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant;
5 and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.
6 Now when these things had been thus prepared, the priests always went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services.|
7 But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance;
8 the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing.
9 It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience–
10 concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation.
11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation.
12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh,
14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.
16 For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.
17 For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives.
18 Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood.
19 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,
20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.”
21 Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry.
22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.
23 Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us;
25 not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another–
26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,
28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

Hebrews 10:1-18 (NKJ)

1 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.
2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins.
3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year.
4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.
5 Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me.
6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you had no pleasure.
7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come– in the volume of the book it is written of Me– to do Your will, O God.’ ”
8 Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law),
9 then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second.
10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11 And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.
12 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God,
13 from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool.
14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.
15 But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before,
16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,”
17 then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
18 Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.

This is a critical point. The sacrifice of animals and other first fruits was never sufficient, for all of the reasons you have just been told. The sacrifice Jesus made for my sins and yours is sufficient. Therefore, there is no longer an “offering for sin.” But there will be offerings of first fruits, as an act of obedience, an offering in righteousness as earlier quoted from Malachi 3:3-4. This is the reason that sacrifice will continue in the Millennium, not for the remission of sins, but as “an offering in righteousness.”

Re-read these following verses from above, and as you do, note that is says the blood of animals “purifies the flesh.” It is the blood of Jesus that purifies the spirit. It is our spirit that need redemption, not our flesh. Listen.

Hebrews 9:13-14 (NKJ)

13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh,
14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Continuing in Hebrews, it then says:

Hebrews 10:19-31 (NKJ)

19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus,
20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh,
21 and having a High Priest over the house of God,
22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,
25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.
28 Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?
30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine; I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.”
31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

I would re-read verses 26-31 very carefully. This is not a point often made in our liberal world. We tend, though we say we love God, to continue sinning, willfully, or at least in what appears to be a reckless way. I am digressing from the point at hand, but just in case you decide to join the body of believers, learn the words of Jesus well.

Matthew 7:13-23 (NKJ)

13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.
14 “Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
16 “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?
17 “Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
18 “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.
19 “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
20 “Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
22 “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’
23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Matthew 12:33-37 (NKJ)

33 “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit.
34 “Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
35 “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.
36 “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.
37 “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Then James, the half brother of Jesus teaches this same concept.

James 3:1-18 (NKJ)

1 My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.
2 For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.
3 Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body.
4 Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires.
5 Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles!
6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.
7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and creature of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind.
8 But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God.
10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.
11 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening?
12 Can a fig tree, my brethren, bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Thus no spring can yield both salt water and fresh.
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom.
14 But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth.
15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.
16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.
17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.
18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

This digression, though unplanned, is very, very important. If you are God’s witness “in the law,” you are obligated to obey the law. When people see your acts of faith and obedience, they should see them as being consistent with the whole law. This, of course, is impossible. No one is perfect, Satan’s power is real, and temptation is everywhere. Adam sinned and set the cycle of sin in motion. We are born therefore, with a “default” setting of being in the flesh, not the Spirit. Being without sin is impossible.

Followers of Jesus Christ are those who have surrendered. They have admitted their weakness in the flesh and have come to a point in which the sin in their life makes them feel totally unworthy to stand in God’s Holy presence. They want “the righteousness of God” in their lives. They know right from wrong, yet they have continued to sin.

Once a person realizes that God is who He said He was and has accepted the fact that Jesus is who He said He was and that He would take all of their sin upon Himself, be crucified, and suffer for them in a way not fully understood by any who have not yet entered into Sheol, then, with a humble and contrite heart they can be forgiven, cleansed and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, Christ in them.

I won’t, at this juncture, quote all the verses or make all the arguments that make those statements very clear, but go to the Epilogue, “Got Eternity?”, if you want to focus on this particular issue.

Here we are dealing with verses 9-12 above. Do not miss the fact that your life is an open book before God. Every word you say, every thought you possess creates a record and your record and mine is imperfect. But, if you want to stand before God in eternity, you must be cleansed, purified and made ready.

As a Jew there appear to be two choices. Either obey the law, perfectly, continuing to offer sacrifice for your continuing sins or accept the acts of Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah, who was, is and will be again, as being a sacrifice made for you personally. If you choose the latter, the contest determining your fate is over. Your place in eternity is assured. If you choose the former, pray that you will be among the remnant that will inherit the Kingdom. Only God knows who those persons are. The scriptures clearly teach that if you remain faithful, even to death, during the tribulation and if you do not accept the mark of the beast that you will be an heir in the Kingdom and will reign with Christ.

As to those who are among the remnant that will be regenerated in the Millennium, listen to the Prophet Ezekiel describe your return, if you die before the tribulation or if you live through it doing the will of God.

Ezekiel 36:8-15 (NKJ)

8 “But you, O mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to My people Israel, for they are about to come.
9 “For indeed I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown.
10 “I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt.
11 “I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bear young; I will make you inhabited as in former times, and do better for you than at your beginnings. Then you shall know that I am the LORD.
12 “Yes, I will cause men to walk on you, My people Israel; they shall take possession of you, and you shall be their inheritance; no more shall you bereave them of their children.”
13 ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Because they say to you, ‘You devour men and bereave your nation of children,’
14 “therefore you shall devour men no more, nor bereave your nation anymore,” says the Lord GOD.
15 “Nor will I let you hear the taunts of the nations anymore, nor bear the reproach of the peoples anymore, nor shall you cause your nation to stumble anymore,” says the Lord GOD.’ “

In the following verses, Jeremiah makes the same point. The restoration of Israel will be glorious. Understand that at the end of the great tribulation, the Promised Land will be in very bad shape and all those who have taken the mark of the beast will be destroyed. It is in this moment that the resurrection of the saints will occur and those saints will join with the Messiah and King David in establishing the Kingdom, along with the survivors of the great tribulation.

Jeremiah 33:7-18 (NKJ)

7 ‘And I will cause the captives of Judah and the captives of Israel to return, and will rebuild those places as at the first.
8 ‘I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned and by which they have transgressed against Me.
9 ‘Then it shall be to Me a name of joy, a praise, and an honor before all nations of the earth, who shall hear all the good that I do to them; they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and all the prosperity that I provide for it.’
10 “Thus says the LORD: ‘Again there shall be heard in this place– of which you say, “It is desolate, without man and without beast”– in the cities of Judah, in the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate, without man and without inhabitant and without beast,
11 ‘the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who will say: “Praise the LORD of hosts, for the LORD is good, for His mercy endures forever”– and of those who will bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause the captives of the land to return as at the first,’ says the LORD.
12 “Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘In this place which is desolate, without man and without beast, and in all its cities, there shall again be a dwelling place of shepherds causing their flocks to lie down.
13 ‘In the cities of the mountains, in the cities of the lowland, in the cities of the South, in the land of Benjamin, in the places around Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, the flocks shall again pass under the hands of him who counts them,’ says the LORD.
14 ‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the LORD, ‘that I will perform that good thing which I have promised to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah:
15 ‘In those days and at that time I will cause to grow up to David a Branch of righteousness; he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the earth.
16 In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell safely. And this is the name by which she will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.’
17 “For thus says the LORD: ‘David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel;
18 ‘nor shall the priests, the Levites, lack a man to offer burnt offerings before Me, to kindle grain offerings, and to sacrifice continually.’ “

The New Covenant will become a reality for you or it already is. I pray that you enter into His peace and rest now, with a new heart or in postponing it, you enter into His presence later, after enduring tribulation beyond anything you have ever seen. Obviously, this is written in the hope that salvation and repentance come to you now and that you live the remainder of your life in the Lord’s righteousness, with His Spirit in you, sustaining you moment by moment.

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