Not long after the Noahic Covenant, made with all of mankind, God separated Israel from the nations (Gentiles) and no longer entered into covenant relationship with the Gentiles (Ex 19:5-7, Deut 6:24-25, Heb 8:6), as He had done with Noah. The age in which God dealt with the entire human race ended in failure. As a result, around 2,000 BC, God initiated a new program. No longer would He deal directly with all mankind. Instead, He would mediate His communication through a new, chosen people and establish covenants with them to bless the world.
Israel was now to be the channel of blessings to the nations as God wants all nations to be blessed (Gen 12:3). With the creation of the Abrahamic Covenant, God created a division of the human race into Jew and Gentile.
The New Covenant will be built upon and will further expand the Abrahamic and Davidic (Kingdom) Covenants. Both the Abrahamic and Davidic Covenants are unconditional and everlasting covenants. The Mosaic (Law) and Land (sometimes refered to as “Palestinian”) Covenants were conditional and temporary. The New Covenant will replace the Law and the Land Covenants – they will “vanish away” (Heb 8:13).
The New Covenant is the final covenant that God will make with His chosen nation, Israel. The New Covenant is defined in numerous Old Testament passages:
- Jeremiah 31:31-40 (See Jer 31:31 and Jer 31:33)
- Ezekiel 36:22-38 (the New Covenant is reiterated, in greater detail, and notice that it is all about the nation Israel)
- Deuteronomy 30:1-8
- Isaiah 55:1-5 (Is 55:3 illustrates the relationship of the New Covenant to the Davidic Covenant)
- Isaiah 59:20-21 (Israel will be a nation forever)
- Isaiah 61:1-11 to Isaiah 62:1-5 (This is all about Israel in their land, married to the land, and it is everlasting)
- Jeremiah 30:22-24 to Jeremiah 31:1-4
- Jeremiah 32:37-42
- Jeremiah 33:14-18
- Ezekiel 16:58-63
- Ezekiel 34:25-31
- Ezekiel 37:26-28
- Hosea 2:14-23 (the New Covenant even affects the beasts (animals) of the earth – this certainly has not happened yet)
After examining these verses, we must ask the question, “to whom is the New Covenant made with?” These verse make it obvious that the New Covenant is made with the nation Israel. The New Covenant replaces the “Old” Covenant and the Old Covenant was made with the nation Israel. The Church, the body of Christ is not Israel and has not replaced Israel. The New Covenant is made with the same people that God made the Old Covenant with.
The book of Hebrews is not written to the body of Christ – it is written to… the HEBREWS… See Hebrews 8:6-13 – the book of Hebrews is all about the New Covenant being better than the Old.
When will the New Covenant be fulfilled? Romans 11:25-27 provides the answer. A: at the Second Coming of Christ.
God will make the New Covenant with the nation Israel after the 70th Week of Daniel (Dan 9:24). There is a seven year period that God is going to bring Israel through. He is going to chasten them. They have to go through that time of chastening. They will repent and He will bring them under the New Covenant. Once the fullness of the Gentiles is brought in, this age will end with the Rapture of the Church, Israel will be chastened, and Israel will be saved and will be placed under the New Covenant (Rom 11:27).
The body of Christ is redeemed by the blood of the New Testament. Members of the body of Christ are able ministers of the New Testament (2 Cor 3:6). The only thing that the apostle Paul had to say about covenants within his 13 epistles is found in:
- Romans 9:4-5 – Covenants pertain to Israel
- Ephesians 2:12 – Gentiles like us were strangers to the covenants
The body of Christ is not under the New Covenant. The body of Christ is not Israel. God did not make the “Old” Covenant with the body of Christ and has not made the New one with us. We are saved and redeemed by the blood of the New Testament. The words “Testament” and “Covenant” do not mean exactly the same thing.
What are the features of the New Covenant? Read all the Old Testament verses above. God gets all the glory! He says “I will” and not “if you will” – God does it all.
It is everlasting. (it is the final covenant and there will not be another one made with Israel)
It fulfills everything and is perfect. (because God does it all)
It is a covenant made by the grace of God. Yes, Israel has to do the Law, endure to the end, etc., but in the end, they do not deserve the New Covenant and it is given to them by grace. (1 Pet 1:10)
It is by the blood of Christ (Heb 12:24). It was the blood of bulls and goats in the Old Covenant, but it is by the blood of Christ under the New Covenant. It is blood that washes away all their sins.
They (Israel) have all their sins blotted out. (Acts 3:19-21)
The Lord will be their righteousness.
They are born again of the Spirit of God. Their righteousness is God’s righteousness. It is God working in and through them. (1 Pet 1:3 – He “hath begotten us again”) See Exodus 4:22
The Law of Liberty is in place. The Law of Liberty that James talks about is the Law. Peter called it a “yoke upon the neck” in Acts 15:7-10. Paul called it a ‘yoke of bondage’ (Gal 5:1). It is a yoke of bondage to those who have to keep it in order to be saved. When the nation is saved and they are under a New Covenant, it is a Law of Liberty. Why? Because they are filled with the Holy Ghost and when you are filled with the Holy Ghost, it is not hard to keep God’s commandments. It will become a Law of Liberty to them (Israel) because it will be written on their hearts by the Holy Spirit. They will do His commandments perfectly.
Israel will be married to the land, never to be taken out of it again.
Israel will be remarried to God (the Bride of prophecy).
They will be doubly blessed in their land. Job is a picture of the Godly remnant of Israel going through Daniel’s 70th Week and they are blessed double afterwards, in the land.
Temple worship will be more glorious than ever.
There will be world peace and even the animals will be at peace.
There will be no need for teachers amongst them. They will be the teachers, filled with the Holy Spirit. That is what Matthew 28 (teach all nations (about the Law of God)) is about.
How could the Church possibly be under the New Covenant? We are not under the Law. The New Covenant says that the Law is written on a person’s heart and that they will do the Law. We, the body of Christ, do not have a land, but yet the New Covenant says “you’ll be brought into the land”. We need teachers. Ephesians 4:11 (and 1 Cor 12:28) says that Christ gave the body of Christ teachers for the body’s edification. If we are going to be ambassadors for the Lord, we better study to show ourselves approved (2 Tim 2:15).
With Israel’s rejection of their Messiah and the creation of the Church, the body of Christ, there are today, within our current dispensation, three divisions (1 Cor 10:32): Jew, Gentile, Christian (members of the body of Christ). In order to understand the Bible correctly, one must understand that the Abrahamic Covenant decreed all divine blessing would be mediated through the nation Israel. Abraham is the father of the Jews (Is 51:2; Mt 3:9; Lk 1:73; Jn 8:56) and God made all covenants from that point forward exclusively with Israel (Rom 9:4; Eph 2:11-13). Gentiles and members of the Church are never called Israel or included in Israel and the promises made to that nation (Lk 1:72-75). God did not and has not made a covenant with the Church, the body of Christ (Rom 15:8, Gal 4:4).
Covenants are solely made with the nation Israel. The Abrahamic, Land, Mosaic, Sabbatic, Davidic, and New Covenants were divine promises made to Israel, each based upon God’s sovereign plan for the Jewish people. The gospel of the grace of God is not a covenant.