End Times - Week 20
Thursday Evening Bible Study
Series: the End Times – Bible prophecy about future events and periods
Teaching Summary for Week 20
The Kingdom and the Covenants
Part 5. The New Covenant
The New Covenant is an unconditional, eternal, literal covenant, based on the shedding of blood, whereby the Lord re-affirms the promises to Abraham of future blessings for Israel and all the nations of the earth.
The most complete account of the New Covenant is found in chapter 31 of the book of Jeremiah.
31 " Behold, days are coming," declares the Lord, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them," declares the Lord. 33 "But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days," declares the Lord, " I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 "They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," declares the Lord, "for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."
Provisions of the New Covenant
The following provisions are specified for Israel, the people of the New Covenant, to be fulfilled in the millennium, the period of the New Covenant.
34 "They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them," declares the Lord, "for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."
18 Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity
And passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession?
He does not retain His anger forever,
Because He delights in unchanging love.
19 He will again have compassion on us;
He will tread our iniquities under foot.
Yes, You will cast all their sins
Into the depths of the sea.
20 You will give truth to Jacob
And unchanging love to Abraham,
Which You swore to our forefathers
From the days of old.
For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. 25 "Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from 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 be careful to observe My ordinances.
28 " It will come about after this
That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind;
And your sons and daughters will prophesy,
Your old men will dream dreams,
Your young men will see visions.
29 "Even on the male and female servants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.
Ignorance will be removed and there will be universal knowledge of God, Jer 31:34.
25 "I will make a covenant of peace with them and eliminate harmful beasts from the land so that they may live securely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods. 26 "I will make them and the places around My hill a blessing. And I will cause showers to come down in their season; they will be showers of blessing. 27 "Also the tree of the field will yield its fruit and the earth will yield its increase, and they will be secure on their land. Then they will know that I am the Lord, when I have broken the bars of their yoke and have delivered them from the hand of those who enslaved them.
38 "Behold, days are coming," declares the Lord, "when the city will be rebuilt for the Lord from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate.
26 "I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will place them and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in their midst forever. 27 "My dwelling place also will be with them; and I will be their God, and they will be My people. 28 "And the nations will know that I am the Lord who sanctifies Israel, when My sanctuary is in their midst forever."'"
18 "In that day I will also make a covenant for them
With the beasts of the field,
The birds of the sky
And the creeping things of the ground.
And I will abolish the bow, the sword and war from the land,
And will make them lie down in safety.
This is also a feature of the millennial kingdom according to Isaiah 2:1-4 and Micah 4:1-4. This shows that Israel will receive the blessings of the new covenant in the future millennium.
I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim
And the horse from Jerusalem;
And the bow of war will be cut off.
And He will speak peace to the nations;
And His dominion will be from sea to sea,
And from the River to the ends of the earth.
11 As for you also, because of the blood of My covenant with you,
I have set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.
The disciples who heard the Lord speak of the New Covenant on the night before His death would certainly have thought that He was speaking about the covenant that Jeremiah described in Jer 31.
26 While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is My body." 27 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you; 28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. 29 "But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom."
In Mat 26:28 and Mar 14:24, the evangelists emphasis the relationship between the blood of New Covenant and salvation –the forgiveness of sins.
This is for many: Israel certainly, but also for the Gentiles.
Of course, the blood of the New Covenant also has a prophetic significance.
19 And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me." 20 And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.
The New Covenant would be instituted with our Lord’s death on the cross.
The requirement for a death to occur in order for a covenant to be established in explained in the book of Hebrews:
15 For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. 16 For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it. 17 For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives. 18 Therefore even the first covenant was not inaugurated without blood. 19 For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses to all the people according to the Law, he took the blood of the calves and the goats, with water and 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 COMMANDED YOU." 21 And in the same way he sprinkled both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry with the blood. 22 And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
So the New Covenant was instituted with the death of the Lord. Whosoever – Jew or Gentile – would believe in Christ in His death and resurrection would receive the blessings of the salvation which was wrought by His blood.
7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He lavished on us.
However, this New Covenant was promised to the nation of Israel. It includes both salvation blessings (forgiveness of sins, regeneration, and the indwelling of the Spirit) and earthly blessings (the land, prosperity, peace and so forth).
Israel as a nation will not receive the blessings of the New Covenant until the Second Advent of Christ.
25 For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery — so that you will not be wise in your own estimation — that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; 26 and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written,
"THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION,
HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB."
27 "THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM,
WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS."
In other words, there is a fundamental difference between the institution of the covenant and the realization of its benefits.
By His death, Christ laid the foundation for Israel’s New Covenant – but Israel will not receive its benefits until the second coming of their Messiah.