"In Acts...Paul is denied the title of Apostle." (Hengel & Schwemer, Paul between Damascus and Antioch (John Knox Press, 1997) at 321.)

Relevant

A Joomla! Template for the Rest of Us

 

Search

Questions?

Please enter your questions, and we will get back to you as soon as possible. As an anti-spam measure, we ask that you re-type the code you see in the box below, prior to clicking "Send Message"






The New Covenant Summarized

The New Testament in Prophecy

 

The whole notion that the New Testament does away with the Law is contrary to the prophecies of what the New Testament represents. Inspired scripture taught that the New Testament 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 Testament 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 [new] 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 it 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.)