(Jer 31:31-34; Heb 8:7-13)
Old Covenant, New Covenant, what exactly are they?
Contrary to what so many people are told, the books from Genesis to Malachi "are not" the Old Covenant. The Old Covenant is the "agreement" or covenant, that the heavenly Father Yahuweh made with the nation of Israel at Mount Sinai (Exo 19:5; 24:7-8)
And the books from Matthew to Revelation "are not" the New Covenant. The New Covenant is the Law, the Torah, written on the hearts of Yahuweh’s people, Israel (Jer 31:33; Heb 8:10; 10:16-17).
I realize that for many of you this may be something you've never heard before, so I would really encourage you to view the videos below. All your questions will be answered, along with a vast amount of other information which I know will be extremely helpful in your coming to an accurate understanding of the Scriptures. Discussed are such things as:
the fact that no one, including the apostles, ever referred to the their writings as the “New Testament” until the year 200 A.D.
why it was necessary for someone to have to die for our sins?
the fact that the apostles preached the good news of the Kingdom for decades “before” they wrote even one of the letters that we have today.
what "Law" it is that Yahuweh is going to put on the hearts of His People Israel?
since this New Covenant is made 'only' with Israel, how do the gentiles gain access to it?
The first mention of the "New Covenant"
The Prophet Jeremiah for a period of about 50 years pleaded with the inhabitants of the 'house of Judah', the two southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin. Warning them of the impending disaster that the Almighty was about to bring upon them because of their disregard for His Law, the Torah. (Jer 1:14-16: 6:19; 9:13)
The 'house of Israel' the 10 northern tribes, having already been taken captive by Assyria approximately 120 years prior, in 722 B.C.E., should have been a stark reminder to the house of Judah that Yahuweh's patience with their disobedience was wearing thin ( 2 Kgs 17:5-6; 17:22-23).
Looking back we know the outcome of that disobedience. Jerusalem was overrun by the Babylonians, the magnificent Temple build by Solomon was destroyed and the people were taken into captivity into Babylon for the 70 years, as prophesied by Jeremiah (Jer 25:11; Dan 9:2).
But even though Yahuweh in his indignation warned of all the calamity he was about to bring upon Jerusalem and the people of Judah, he reminded this rebellious nation, through Jeremiah, of His faithfulness in keeping the promises He made to the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. That is, in the latter days He would gather his people Israel from all the nations of the earth in which He scattered them and bring them back to their own land. (Deut 30:1-4; Isa 11:12) And through the prophet Jeremiah, the Almighty speaks to His People Israel concerning a "New Covenant". (Jer 31:31-34)
Jer 31:31 Behold, the days come, says Yahuweh, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
Who is it that Yahuweh said He was going to make this "New" Covenant with? Was it all the idolatrous, pagan nations of the world? NO! Was it going to be with all the Catholics, Baptist, Methodist, Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, and/or any other peoples of the earth? Again, NO! Yahuweh is making this New Covenant with his people Israel, the 10 Northern Tribes, which came to be known as the "House of Israel", and the two Southern Tribes of Judah and Benjamin, known as the "House of Judah.")
Jer 31:32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, says Yahuweh:
We'll discuss more later as to exactly what a 'covenant' is, but for now let it suffice to say that, a 'covenant' is an agreement between two parties. So in vs. 32 Yahuweh tells his people Israel that in the days to come he is going to make a "New" Covenant, or Agreement, with the House of Israel, 10 tribes, and the House of Judah, 2 tribes.
Jer 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, says Yahuweh, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and I will be their Elohim (God), and they shall be my people.
Why is only "Israel" mentioned here and not the "Houses" of Israel and Judah? Because in the time of the New Covenant Israel will no longer be a divided Kingdom, 10 Northern tribes and 2 Southern Tribes. Yahuweh is going to gather "all" his people from the 4 corners of the earth and bring them back to the Land of Israel. It will be "Israel", all 12 Tribes, no longer a divided nation. (Deut 30:1-4; Ezk 37:15-22)
Jer 31:34 And they shall not teach any more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know Yahuweh: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, says Yahuweh: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
To those of us that 'know Yahuweh' let me ask you:
have we stopped telling people of Yahuweh, the Holy One of Israel ? - NO
Does every man and his neighbor 'today' know Yahuweh? - NO
Can it be said than that Yahuweh's law is on the hearts and minds of 'every man and his neighbor' - NO
If you answered "NO" along with me to all of the above questions, then let me ask you this, has the "New" Covenant, or Testament, seen it's fulfillment as of yet?
Please turn if you would to the book of Hebrews chapter 8, and we'll read verses 7-13.
In Hebrew 8: 7-13 the writer quotes almost verbatim that which we've just read in Jeremiah 31:31-34, concerning the days of the "New" Covenant, but he adds something very interesting, that I believe a good number of people today have never noticed.
Heb 8:7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
Heb 8:8 For finding fault with them, he said, Behold, the days come, says Yahuweh, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
Heb 8:9 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 continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, says Yahuweh.
Heb 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says Yahuweh; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a Elohim (God), and they shall be to me a people:
Heb 8:11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know Yahuweh: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
Heb 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
Heb 8:13 In that he says, A new covenant, he has made the first old. Now that which decays and waxing old is ready to vanish away.
The book of Hebrews was written sometime between 60 and 70 A.D., well over 30 years after the death and resurrection of the Messiah, Yahoshua, and notice how in verse 13 we're told that this 'Old' Covenant "is ready to vanish away". It hasn't "vanished away" as of yet. How could the writer of Hebrew make such a statement?
As we've seen in reading Jeremiah 31:31-34, and now in Heb 8:7-13, that at the time of the "New" Covenant all that the Almighty stated will have taken place already, namely:
No man will teach his brother or neighbor to 'know Yahuweh'.
All men will know him, from the least to the greatest of them
Yahuweh's laws will be on the hearts and minds of all men
And their sins will be forgiven, never to be remembered again.
None of which has happened as of yet..
So if the Old Covenant "is ready to vanish away" as the writer of Hebrews tells us, and if none of which the Almighty tells will happen in the days of the New Covenant, such as "every man" knowing Yahuweh, what Covenant are we under today?
But, some might ask, doesn't the Messiah tell us in Mat 26:28 "...this is my blood of the New Covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."
Yes, he does, and that's a truth that we should all be eternal grateful for, and one that we'll look at more in depth later. But for now turn if you would to Isaiah 11 and we'll begin by reading verses 1 to 5, which is clearly speaking of the Messiah, Yahoshua.
Isa 11:1 Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse , And a branch from his roots will bear fruit.
(Jesse was the father of David, through whom the Messiah Yahoshua was born.)
Isa 11:2 The Spirit of Yahuweh will rest on Him, The spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of Yahuweh.
Isa 11:3 And He will delight in the fear of Yahuweh, And He will not judge by what His eyes see, Nor make a decision by what His ears hear;
(in other words his judgments will not be based on the way something "might" look or sound, but by the actual facts, that is - in 'righteousness'.)
Isa 11:4 But with righteousness He will judge the poor, And decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth; And He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked.
(everything we're about to read from this passage on happens "after" the Messiah fulfills the following:
judges with fairness the afflicted of the earth.
strikes the earth with the rod of His mouth.
and slays the wicked.
None of which has happened as of yet.
Isa 11:5 Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins, And faithfulness the belt about His waist.
Isa 11:6 And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, And the leopard will lie down with the young goat, And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little boy will lead them.
Isa 11:7 Also the cow and the bear will graze, Their young will lie down together, And the lion will eat straw like the ox.
Isa 11:8 The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper's den.
Has anyone ever witness such a thing as the wolf and lamb, a leopard and a young goat, a calf and a lion, or a cow and a bear grazing, or dwelling together? How about a nursing child playing over the hole of a vipers den without the possibility of being bitten? Of course none of this has happened, as of yet. When will this take place? We're told in the next verse.
Isa 11:9 They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth will be full of the knowledge of Yahuweh As the waters cover the sea.
It's at a time when the "whole earth" will be filled with the knowledge of Yahuweh, as the waters cover the seas. At a time when "no, man will teach his brother or neighbor saying 'know Yahuweh' for all shall know him, from the least of them to the greatest of them". Clearly this is speaking of the time of the New Covenant, spoken of by the prophet Jeremiah (Jer 31:31-34) and in Heb 8:8-13. A time when Yahuweh's Law will be on the hearts of all his people and their sins and iniquities will be remember no more, never again.
Isa 11:10 Then in that day The nations will resort to the root of Jesse (Messiah), Who will stand as a signal (banner) for the peoples; And His resting place will be glorious.
Isa 11:11 Then it will happen on that day that Yahuweh will again recover the second time with His hand The remnant of His people, who will remain, From Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, And from the islands of the sea.
Isa 11:12 And He will lift up a standard (a banner) for the nations And assemble the banished ones of the House of Israel, And will gather the dispersed of the House of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
Isa 11:13 Then the jealousy of Ephraim (10 tribes of the House of Israel), will depart, And those who harass Judah (2 tribes of the House of Judah) will be cut off; Ephraim (10 tribes, Israel) will not be jealous of Judah (2 tribes Judah), And Judah will not harass Ephraim.
Just as we've read in Jer 31:33, it will no longer be the "House of Israel" the 10 northern tribes, and the "House of Judah" the 2 Southern Tribes, it will be "Israel" the 12 tribes together again, in the time of the "New" Covenant (Ezk 37:15-22).
As I mentioned, there is much more informatoin in the videos concerning the Covenants, which I'm sure you'll find very helpful in understanding what the New Covenant actually is, and whether you're part of it or not.
On Judgment Day we’ll all stand alone, and as we know from the Savior himself, there will be many on that day that will find out when it was to late - they were deceived into thinking that they no longer had to obey the Heavenly Father's Law (Matt 7:21-23).
May Yahuweh bless those that are seeking him, in 'spirit and truth.'